A lesson to be learned (discuss!)
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11-14-2009, 08:36 PM
I believe this to be true. I get a lot of PMs from people wanting to know asap what's perfect so they can practice it - unfortunately, practice is essential in forming every part of your musical identity and your technique.
Better to work and learn than to stew and stagnate.
Ironically, the post where I try to claim that guru-dom is useless is the post I sound most guru-esque.
11-14-2009, 08:55 PM
Good read. I'm definately guilty of that myself. One of the reasons I spend so much time on UG :facepalm: :haha:
11-14-2009, 10:24 PM
I'm guilty. I tried for a while to theorize how to sweep correctly. After a while, I just started noodling around with it, and then it clicked.
11-14-2009, 10:26 PM
it's an alright story, but playing should be fun and you should want to do it a lot. like sex. you don't **** once and go "damn, i'll never **** that good again" and quit.
plus, i've been playing for almost 20 years and i'd still like to be better.
11-14-2009, 10:32 PM
Hmm, it's an interesting read but I'm not sure on the applications to guitar technique.
I believe that to have truly great technique you need to have both perfection and practice. The perfection is what you seek to learn when playing at slow speeds and really focusing on what you're doing, mentally bitchslapping yourself every time a finger that's not in use moves and stressing about the little things. But you do need to practice the perfect technique to allow yourself to apply it at more usable speeds.
Pure practice, however, would pay off also... If you practice enough with anything you're going to improve but if it turns out you're playing with bad technique you're probably not going to sound as good or be as comfortable (and thus maybe end up injuring yourself). I spent a lot of time in the past practicing with poor technique and kept hitting points in my playing where I wasn't capable of doing certain things and was required to go back and alter my technique slightly.
Now I've been practicing, what is to the best of my knowledge, perfect technique and my playing sounds better than ever and feels better too!
I think that that article would be useful in terms of song writing. Try and write a lot and take a look at the things you create that sound good to you. My writing has improved a lot with a lot of practice because now I know what chord changes sound good to me ect. I've had time to develop my own style and that's all down to just messing around trying to write anything at all.
11-15-2009, 12:44 AM
Definately a good read, and I think it actually does apply pretty well to guitar technique. Except I don't think that perfectionism is exactly the right word for what is being discussed, I think it is over analysis or "analysis paralysis" if you like.
Applied to guitar playing, the over analyst constructs a check list of things he feels he must improve BEFORE he can play anything of any substance on the guitar. So he sits there practicing scales, sweeps, learning musical theory, etc, all worthwhile things yet somehow it doesn't all come together when and really, if, he ever tries to do something with it.
The non-over analyst just says "screw it, I'm going to give it a shot", and attempts to play whatever it is he wants to play, mistakes and all. The ones that become good look critically at that attempt, and say, "hmm..I noticed that I screwed up here, there, and there, let me work on that a bit". So he does, and then gives it another shot. As the process is repeated many times, the person becomes very perceptive of where the areas needing work are, and he also becomes better at finding the best way to solve a problem in his playing.
It's really a subtle, but critical difference. Both approaches have some perfectionism going on. Both have a checklist of things being worked on. The key difference is that in the latter case, all the work being done is based on observations of what needs to be worked on, but in the first case, it's all based on a theory of what needs to be worked on - the first guitarist is basically going at it blind.
11-15-2009, 07:43 AM
^ very nice post, thanks for writing that.
and thank you FP for posting that article. Enjoyed it very much :)
11-15-2009, 09:38 AM
I experienced this in a couple areas. One area was improvising. My initial attempts at improvising were terrible, so I stopped trying, thinking I would just get better as I improved my technique and learned more about the guitar. I was totally intimidated by the idea of improvising. As you can guess, even though my guitar playing improved, it didn't carry over much to improvising. So I bit the bullet and added improvising to my practice schedule. Spending time focused on improvising was what I needed to improve in that area, I just have to get over my hangups of not being able to do it well when I started.
The other area was ear training/transcribing. The task seemed so daunting and hard I didn't attempt to transcribe for a long time. I guess I was hoping my ear would just improve over time and I wouldn't have to devote any time to this area that intimidated me. Eventually I decided to put time into it and not hold myself to such a high standard. I decided to tackle some easy melodies and just do "the best I could" instead of wanting it to be perfect the first time. After devoting time to it I'm amazed and how much I've progressed.
Ultimately, the best thing for my playing was to ignore my hangups of not being good at something and just focus on doing the best I could instead of needing perfection from day one.
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